By Stacy M. Brown | NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
(NNPA) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has taken new measures to protect renters from evictions.
Over the past two months, the new prohibition on evictions will apply to communities with high or substantial COVID-19 transmission.
A formal announcement is expected on Wednesday, August 4.
“My hope is it’s going to be a new moratorium that in some way covers close to 90 percent of the American people or renters,” President Joe Biden told news reporters on Tuesday.
The President expressed fears that the order would face court battles after the Supreme Court ruled that an extension to the original moratorium that expired on July 31 could not occur without clear and specific congressional authorization via new legislation.
Still, members of Congress who had pressed the Administration to act applauded the President.
“From the bottom of my heart and on behalf of millions of renters, I thank the President for listening and for encouraging the CDC to act,” Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), the chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, said in a statement.
“This extension of the moratorium is the lifeline that millions of families have been waiting for. From the very beginning of this pandemic, it was clear that eviction moratoriums not only kept people housed but also saved lives,” Congresswoman Waters remarked.
Congressman Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.), a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, also applauded the President.
“Today, the Biden administration answered our call to provide a lifeline to millions of Americans at risk of eviction. This new executive order represents the degree of empathy and responsiveness that this national health emergency demands,” Congressman Gomez asserted.
The Biden administration has repeated its assertion that there remains about $44 billion in federal COVID-19 relief available to states and municipalities to thwart evictions.
The American Rescue Plan provided nearly $47 billion in aid, but states and local governments have used just $3 billion.
“We need to continue working with local and state governments to ensure all of the funds Congress allocated reaches our constituents,” Congressman Gomez insisted.
“While my House Democratic colleagues work to secure sustainable housing solutions for the most vulnerable among us, I’d like to extend my appreciation to President Biden for helping us pursue every available option to keep our constituents healthy and in their homes.”
On July 31, 2021, Congressman Gomez, Congresswoman Waters, and several of their congressional colleagues sent a letter reiterating their ongoing calls for President Biden and CDC Director Rochelle Walensky to extend the federal eviction moratorium.
“As Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, I have made it a priority of mine to ensure that both renters and landlords are supported,” Congresswoman Waters stated.
“That is why I secured nearly $50 billion in emergency rental assistance that would go directly into the pockets of landlords to cover every penny of back-rent they are owed and keep struggling families housed throughout the pandemic. I urged corporate landlords not to evict tenants, met with members of the Biden administration to expedite and simplify the emergency rental assistance program, and introduced legislation to protect renters from evictions.”
The congresswoman continued:
“This temporary reprieve will not go to waste. The CDC’s targeted eviction moratorium will buy time for state and local governments to get their act together and ensure that renters and landlords receive the money that Congress allocated for them while keeping our most vulnerable off the streets.
“In the days and weeks ahead, I will work with my colleagues in Congress and with the Administration to help the governors, mayors, and others who are implementing this moratorium to get the money out the door. Renters should not be thrown out on the street.”